Birdman (Jack Caffrey #1) by Mo Hayder.
Greenwich, south-east London. The Met’s crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous offender: a sexual serial killer.
Detective Inspector Jack Caffery – young, driven, unshockable – finds himself facing both hostility within the force and echoes of his past in this, his first case with AMIP. Haunted by the memory of a death long ago, he employs every weapon forensic science can offer for he knows it is only a matter of time before this chaotic, sadistic killer strikes again.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was a recent recommendation from Lucilla based on similar books I’ve read and a new author for me. Very much enjoyed it. The character, settings and storyline are quite similar to Peter James‘s series on Roy Grace but with a fresh approach that is very welcome as the Roy Grace character has been running out of material for a while now.
The London setting was enjoyable for me as we visited London last year and many of the street names and locations are familiar from that trip or from general knowledge of London.
The storyline is based around the abduction, mutilation and murder of prostitutes by a serial killer and the main protagonist police officer has a mixed up past that he’s hiding from his colleagues. None of this is new or original but the author builds the characters and stories really well and ties it all together very satisfactorily.
It’s the debut novel for the author and while the plot loses momentum in small sections it’s a great start. The conclusion of the story is very good but I have a feeling the author had it much more detailed and gruesome in the first draft as it feels like someone shied away from it to a certain extent, possibly the editor? However, a great book, enjoyable throughout and looking forward to reading more.